Crews searching for fisherman who went overboard near Yarmouth, N.S.

A Royal Canadian Air Force CH-149 Cormorant helicopter performs search and rescue training with M/V Halmar, a multi-purpose vessel owned by Dominion Diving, in Halifax harbour on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS /Andrew Vaughan

Crews with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre are searching for a Mi'kmaw fisherman who went overboard in the waters off southwest Nova Scotia early Thursday morning.

The JRCC confirmed that around 4 a.m., they were notified of a man-overboard situation from a four-man fishing vessel 27 kilometres south of Yarmouth.

Searchers say three crew members went to sleep overnight Wednesday, leaving the captain in the wheelhouse.

Around 4 a.m., one crew member woke up and went searching for the captain who was no where to be found.

At that point, an emergency was declared, says Lt.-Col. Brian Owens from the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre.

The crew immediately made a distress call, but coast guard vessels, a Cormorant helicopter and several aircraft have been unable to locate the man.

Owens says the weather was fairly calm at the time of the incident, and the crew hadn't indicated any mechanical difficulties.

A spokeswoman from Sipekne'katik First Nation said in an interview the person is from the community located about 65 kilometres north of Halifax, but she had no other details.

"We are focussed on supporting our community at this time," said Chief Mike Sack of Sipekne'katik First Nation.

The JRCC, Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Air Force are all searching for the missing fisherman using the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Clarks Harbour, CCGS Corporal Teather, a CH 149 Cormorant helicopter, a CH 130 Hercules airplane and a PAL aircraft that’s on contract with the Canadian Armed Forces.

The search began between 5 and 6 a.m. when the PAL aircraft arrived on scene.

Rescue crews are doing a visual search as well as using a forward looking infrared device called FLIR.

The search will continue throughout the day and into the evening.

The JRCC says the fishing vessel was escorted to Yarmouth by the Coast Guard, and all remaining individuals onboard are safe.

The name of the vessel is being held pending notification of family members of the missing crewman.

At approximately 4 am, JRCC was notified of a man-overboard situation from a fishing vessel south of Yarmouth, NS. The @CoastGuardCAN CCGS Clarks Harbour, a @RCAF_ARC CH149 Cormorant, a CH130 Hercules and a PAL aircraft were immediately tasked.

— HfxJRCC_CCCOS (@hfxjrcc) October 14, 2021

With files from The Canadian Press.